If you’re like me and have waited until the last minute to finish up your Christmas shopping (ugh, guilty yearly!) you may be frantically searching for the perfect gift for your family or friend. I’ve got my friend Whitney guest posting today with a great and simple algorithm to help you out! Take it away, Whit!
The holidays are here and the gift giving season is in full swing. If you still have gifts to purchase and are struggling to find the perfect gift for someone on your list, this is the guide for you. Simply answer the questions below for each person left on your list:
- Do you know this person well enough to purchase a personal gift?
Proceed on to the next question.
Plan to purchase a generic gift instead. If you do not know someone well enough to choose a personalized gift, than a generic gift is very appropriate. Consider these generic gift ideas:
- Coffee mugs paired with peppermint hot cocoa packets
- Scented lotion or aftershave lotion
- Fun cooking utensils
- Wool socks
- Card game or board game
- Sundae glasses and ice cream toppings
- Water bottle
- Placemats or coasters
- Journal or photo album
Purchase a generic gift and cross this person off your list.
- Has this person been dropping hints to you about a gift they really want?
Congratulations! You know exactly what to purchase. If the cost of the item is something that you can afford, purchase the gift and cross this person off your list! If, however, the wished for item is out of your price range, keep reading.
Think harder to see if you can uncover something they have mentioned in the past. Remember hints are not always spoken aloud. Has this person been using an item that needs to be replaced or updated? Did you catch them looking at something online or in a store? Does this person use an item frequently that has additional features, pieces, or parts you could purchase? If after some serious thought, you still cannot come up with the right gift, keep reading.
- Can you purchase a gift related to this person’s hobbies and interests?
Use your knowledge of this person’s interests to help you find a gift that connects to their hobby or interest. Put some thought into the process. For example, if this person loves all things western, purchase this western inspired iPad cover instead of a cowboy hat.
If you do not know the person well enough to know anything about their hobbies, then you should probably use the tips above and purchase a generic gift. If you have considered all hobbies and interests and are still drawing a blank on the perfect gift, keep reading.
- Can you think of an item that attaches to a memory of time spent together?
Choose a sentimental gift that reminds the person of the memory. For example, if you went on a trip together, find a Christmas ornament that somehow ties to that location. You could also consider framing a picture from the trip.
Focus on making future memories together instead. Purchase concert tickets for a band you both love. Plan a trip and wrap up airplane tickets, a hotel confirmation, or theme park passes. Give a gift card to a restaurant you both love (but only if the restaurant has meaning to the two of you). Remember this tip is not just for your spouse!
Another great option for making future memories together is to give personalized gift certificates. Here are a few examples of what you might print on the certificate:
For a Spouse: Weekend Away – You choose the location and the itinerary.
For a Child: Date with Dad – We’ll go to the ballet and get ice cream.
For a Parent: Bonus Day – I’ll come for an extra day, you choose what we do.
For a Friend: Girls Night In – I’ll send a sitter to watch your kids.
For a Coworker: Lunch on Me – You pick the restaurant.
If you still can’t think of the perfect gift, keep reading.
- Do you know someone close to this person that you can ask for extra help?
Start by explaining that you want to get a special gift and then ask for suggestions. Listen carefully and take notes if their ideas get specific. For example, if they mention this person really wants a red scarf to match their new coat, buying a black scarf is not the same thing.
If you still can’t think of the perfect gift and you don’t have anyone to ask for extra help, cut yourself some slack. If you’ve come this far you are probably chasing a standard of gift giving perfection that is far too lofty. Go through the suggestions again and go with the best option you come up with throughout the process.
Now you are an expert gift giver! Remember to keep this gift giving guide on hand for future gifting. After all, Valentine’s Day is only a few weeks away.
Have you finished your Christmas shopping?
What’s the gift you’re most excited to give this year?